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Russian casino ban now in effect. Will players move online?

Jul 8, 2009

As of July 1st, all casino gambling in the Russian Federation is now severely restricted, and casinos can only legally operate out of a handful of regions across the country. There are just four of these special government-chosen gambling zones: two in European Russia, one in Siberia and one in the Far East. These are remote locations, far from major cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg. The move is a major inconvenience for gamblers, since just a few years ago, there were dozens of major casinos and thousands of smaller gambling halls throughout the country.

The ruling has not come as a surprise. Things were put in motion back in October of 2006, when President Vladimir Putin submitted a bill that would gradually remove all large-scale casinos and small gambling halls out of Moscow. Today, the move is complete, leaving as many as 300,000 casino workers facing a choice – relocate, or find a new job.

Strangely, the four new gambling zones have barely been developed and are not ready to take on the country’s gambling population. This leaves but one choice: Russian players will be moving their game online. Luckily, the government has not seriously addressed online gambling in the country, so players are free to use foreign online casinos to play real-money blackjack and other classic casino games.

Online gambling has always been a good alternative to land-based casino gambling, because online casinos can be accessed from anywhere – at home, at the office, or even on the train or in the park using special Mobile Casinos that will run on most mobile telephones. Internet casinos remove the need to travel, so however far away a player lives from the nearest land-based casino, online casinos are always just a few clicks away.

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